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September 24, 2017

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MediaTek Octa-core chipset shipment possibly delayed

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Analysts have speculated about a possible delay to the shipment schedule of MediaTek Inc.'s (聯發科) Octa-core chipset coded M6595, likely leading to market loss in mainland China to main rival Qualcomm Incorporated.

In a latest research note, Citigroup said that as MediaTek failed to take the lead in the 4G chip market in China, more than 20 fourth-generation (4G) long-term-evolution (LTE) phones that have hit the market in China have not adopted M6595.

According to CNA, the M6595 chip is aimed at the mid- and high-range smartphone market. According to Citigroup, MediaTek is unlikely to put a 4G chip targeting low-end smartphone models on sale until the end of this year.

In addition to lagging behind its rivals in 4G chip development, Citigroup said prices of MediaTek's 4G solutions are not competitive enough.

Market sentiment toward the stock has turned weaker after Citigroup said MediaTek has lagged behind its rivals in the competition for the China 4G market as its MT6595 will not be ready for sale until August or even September.

MediaTek Shares Close Down 3.9 Percent Wednesday

MediaTek's stock opened sharply lower in the wake of Citigroup's assessment, and selling continued until the end of the session, dealers said.

Shares of MediaTek closed down 3.9 percent at NT$456 with 7.82 million shares changing hands, while the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended down 0.20 percent at 8,684.73 points.

As MediaTek shares have risen more than 20 percent since the beginning of February, the stock faced downward pressure, they said.

Citigroup said it has maintained a "sell" rating on shares of MediaTek, while it has raised a target price on the stock to NT$370 from NT$353 after taking a merger with MStar Semiconductor Inc. (晨星半導體) into account.

MediaTek on Feb. 11 unveiled the MT6595, the world's first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone chip for the mainstream market.

The new platform consists of four new Cortex-A17 processors and four Cortex-A7 processors licensed by ARM and will be commercially available in the first half of 2014, with end devices expected in the second half of the year, according to MediaTek's plan.

"The question for us is not about how many cores," Qualcomm Senior Vice President Bill Davidson earlier said during a conference call with Taiwanese media when asked to comment on MediaTek's unveiling of an octa-core LTE chipset.

He said that it is understandable that other chip-makers without their own micro architecture design will have to add more cores to their products to support various capabilities.

Qualcomm's newest processors have remained quad core. It introduced in November last year its top-tier quad-core LTE processor, the Snapdragon 805, which is designed to deliver high-quality mobile video, imaging and graphics at ultra-HD 4K resolution.

In December, it also introduced the quad-core Snapdragon 410, its first chipset with 64-bit features typically found in personal computers, to target highly affordable 4G LTE smartphones at a sub-US$150 price point.

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